Sinful Cinema in Los Angeles, 1970 – Part One



8-5-70 – A look into Imported Sinful Cinema playing in LA has to start off with the one and only Eugenie. Playing for four weeks at the Vine, the same place where Girl on a Motorcycle had it’s run, it might have made the critics go on hate mode, but at least the customers were enjoying the trip. This ad had a lack of whip marks.

1970 was a time when Exploitation was in a serious war. Not only were Indie companies unleashing wild films, the Adult movie companies were releasing “Sex Ed” flicks and all things Denmark, serious thanks to the X rating that made it easier for all of it to plow through the American landscape. The results were a mix of serious cult classics, out-there movies that might have went too far for the mainstream, disappointing flops, and breakthrough movies that led to the Porno Chic later in the decade.

Los Angeles was a perfect testing ground for the action!



3-6-70, Los Angeles – Juliette de Sade was one of Haven International’s attempts to follow up on the import flick success of Fuego, but sadly fell short of it’s goals despite a great ad campaign. It would see some Drive In plays through the some of the decade, but not a strong re-play value like Isabel Sarli’s monster hit.


4-3-70 – Then came Denmark…OK, a bit of a wink wink for you, but the impact of the Documentaries of how far Denmark can go made everything in it’s wake look like light entertainment.


5-1-70 – Of course, the Monica Cat hat it!


4-10-70 – End of the Road was one of the more ambitious X-Rated films of the time. Based on John Barth’s book, this reportedly tried to seriously go on the freak out level that impressed a few viewers although it might have gone too far gone for the places between LA and NYC – this means a topic to research for a future article. Although I have still yet to see it, it sounds perfect for me.


4-10-70 – More Danish madness is announced, this time at the Paris.


4-17-70 = Lou Sher’s Cinema was a natural to get into the act with Alex deRenzy’s cult classic.

The Danish Doc war would go on for months…more later!


5-13-70 – Although Satan’s Sadists was a A-level hit in many Drive Ins, it still was set to being a B in some cases like this. LA was not alone with this double feature, and you can tell that a few indoor screens replaced Al Adamson’s ride with Downhill Racer. Still, time will turn it into a cult classic.


6-17-70 – Russ Meyer’s legendary Beyond the Valley of the Dolls had a well-attended premiere and a life of winning the public while angering the critics.


While the film was great and held up on it’s own, the LA life of BVD was paired with the Only Game in Town. Below the first week ad had a small block for two low-level Adult cinemas. 7-1-70


8-5-70 – the return of Russ Meyer’s 1969 film before BVD was to capitalize on his recent rise in fame – which was to be halted for a while by The Seven Minutes. At this time, many of his films from the 60’s had repeat showings and put on double and triple bills, possibly as a reminder of the style that broke barriers in a decade that had many to be shattered and certainly as just being great films, although with some being re-rated R later on reportedly did some damage to the earnings. 1975’s Supervixens saw “King Leer” return to boxoffice winning for a little longer.


7-21-70 – Before Eugenie, the Vine played Ann and Eve, a film  that tried to get Chevron into being a major player in the movie industry, but after a nice showing in LA and a couple of other areas, mainly through the appearance of Marie Liljedhal who was “That Inga Girl” to many, it fell into the B-level scene and also as screen fodder for Cinecom’s theaters – Chevron was owned by the company as it’s adult wing and would face a free fall in trying to get The Language of Love (the film seen in Taxi Driver!) into The US, although it would see a successful run when it (and may of it’s other films) was picked up by Paragon.

Sadly for this film, the impact of the Danish Documentary craze seriously trumped this into the also-ran section of movie history.


8-5-70 – Performance was one of the more controversial films of the day that had a serious audience as Mick Jagger was a leading star of the day as The Rolling Stones were trying and succeeding to live after the death of Brian Jones and the infamous concert at Altamont Speedway as featured in Gimme Shelter. While the industry held back the release of Performance, it actually chose a right time to do so when one looks at things in retrospect. With The Rolling Stones’ music going into more daring territory and their image as bad boys heightened more, it would be a good opinion that the fans and critics were going to accept it more than if it would have been released when it was originally scheduled.


8-12-70 – After a successful run at the UA Westwood (where the Rocky Horror Picture Show would play five years later!), Performance would be featured in many double bills with other controversial films of the time – Warner Brothers would team this up with The Devils – and play many Midnight shows.

The journey will continue soon


~ by screen13 on September 17, 2016.

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